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Mad Lust Envy's Headphone Gaming Guide: (Update: 10/15/2014: Beyerdynamic T51i Added) - Page 1532

post #22966 of 26687
Thread Starter 
Stupid double post.
Edited by Mad Lust Envy - 4/17/14 at 1:14am
post #22967 of 26687
Thread Starter 
Dangit, you caught me mid edit. Lol. I don't see my errors until AFTER I post it, then I go on an editing spree, lol.

Ironic you mention that comparison, as I LITERALLY just wrote it in last minute (as in about 5 minutes before posting it). I figured people would be quite interested in that comparison, which I somehow completely forgot to consider until now.


edit: Added to this post, to have both reviews on one page.

Quote:







AKG K712 Pro


Street Price: $379

Where To Buy: Amazon.com

Review (Click to show)
Before I begin, I'd like to personally thank guide contributor and friend, @Evshrug for sending these out to me for review.

The K712 Pro, the latest and greatest AKG headphone to supersede the (in)famous 7xx line (K701, K702, Q701, K702 65th Anniversary Edition being the previous models) as AKG's best mid-fi headphone. I have been wondering just how different the K712 Pro is to my dearly departed K702 65th Anniversary. Turns out, not much (I wouldn't doubt that some people would find them near identical), but there are differences, however subtle they may be. Also need to mention that my K702 Anniversary was one of the earlier ones sold that had flatter/shorter pads, which may be the main difference between the Annie and K712's sonic differences. The K712 Pro had a lot to live up to, seeing as the Annie is more or less my favorite open dynamic headphone to date.



Build Quality:

Rating: Great

I'll basically paste what I've said about the K702 65th Anniversary, as the build is absolutely identical to the Annie. The only differences between the color differences (Annie is gunmetal with blue bars and accents, K712 Pro is black with orange bars and accents).

Made of a durable plastic, and well thought out design, I find the build quality to be great. I wouldn't toss them around haphazardly, but they'd definitely survive some abuse. The detachable cable is like the non-Anniversary models, which isn't the thickest I've seen, but certainly very malleable, flexible, and light. It certainly does it's job, though I would have expected a more rugged, or fancier cable for these higher priced variants.

Compared to the non-Anniversary models of the K701/K702/Q701, the headband is thinner in width when viewed from the top/bottom, with a widening of the area where the AKG branding is located. The biggest difference (and it's incredibly significant), is that the underside of the headband no longer has the notorious (7-8) bumps, and is instead completely smooth. This basically turns the K712 Pro from a torture device to a very comfortable headphone. There is no padding, but it is mostly unnecessary as the headband perfectly molds to your head, distributing pressure evenly across where it rests. The bumped headbands were notorious for digging into the scalp, especially on the center one or two bumps. Why it took AKG this long to rectify this issue the vast majority of people had is beyond me, but it's finally done.

The headband also has the added benefit of allowing bigger heads to fit due to less stiffness, and more space. Prior to the K712 Pro and K702 Anniversary, I basically needed the other models to be fully extended for them to fit my head. This caused a lot of tight, downwards pressure, which in addition to the hard bumps, didn't lead to the most comfortable headband design. It took me a few days to adjust to the older models, and I didn't find them as problematic as most people still do.

The pads are the second most significant change from the older models. They are made of memory foam inside velour. Very dense and molds to your head shape MUCH more than the older model pads. This causes a better seal, which is more than likely the main reason why the sound signature is warmer, and more bassy (from my experience with using a Q701 with the Annie pads, I found the Q701 to sound 99.9% the same as the Annie, with a slightly brighter tone which may have just been driver variation).



Accessories:

Velvet carrying pouch: One of the best carrying pouches I've seen bundled with headphones. It's thick and feels great, though it won't protect a headphone from much except dust and scuff/scratches.

Long coiled cable (black)

Straight cable (orange) w/6.3mm screw on adapter



Comfort:

Rating: Amazing

As previously mentioned, due to the new headband and new pads, the K712 Pro has made a noticeable boost in comfort over the older models. The headband change is significant for comfort. The removal of the dreaded bumps would basically satisfy ANYONE who had issues with them on the older models, and even those that don't have issues with the bumps.

The pads are arguable, as the standard 7xx pads, while more firm, breathed a little easier than the new memory foam velours. In either case, neither are sweat inducing or uncomfortable, personally. The new memory foam pads molds to the shape of one's head, leading to no uneven pressure. I find the older models to be not as uncomfortable as most people would lead to believe, but the K712 Pro would more than likely satisfy those who have problems with the older pads.

The K712 pro is easily one of the most comfortable full-sized headphones I've ever worn.



Design Issues:

There really isn't anything to complain about with the K712 Pro. If anything, some may not particularly like how big the cups are, but that's the nature of a full-sized over ear headphone. AKG has more or less perfected their 7xx design, fixing all of the previous issues people had with them (headband bumps being the main problem). The only thing I can see improving upon this design is to add some padding underneath the currently bare headband strap, which would further drive the comfort towards perfection.



Isolation/Leakage:

Rating: Poor

The K712 Pro is a fully open headphone, and as such, it is expected not to perform well for noise isolation/leakage. As I mention time and time again, reports of open headphone's leak tend to be severely exaggerated. Yes, you may bother someone in the same room, but never someone in another room, even with the door open. Unless you need absolute silence in the same room, open headphones don't leak so loud as to bother most people, possibly even if they were in the same room.



Sound:

Rating: Amazing

People will undoubtedly complain about the incremental improvements constantly being made to their 7xx drivers, but to those who haven't experienced every little upgrade (or even those who have) will find the K712 Pro to be the their strongest headphones yet based on their 7xx drivers. What you get in the K712 Pro is the most musical, and fleshed out variant, with a noticeable addition of bass, warmth, and pleasing tonality. AKG had previously made most of these improvements with the K702 65th Anniversary (aka Annie), but the Annie had some trade offs, particularly in the sense of spaciousness (not necessarily soundstage itself), and upper range clarity and detail (which were slightly lessened due to a smoother, less fatiguing upper range). The Annie was a slightly different flavor of the K712 Pro sound, with a thicker body of sound, more intimacy, and smoother, slightly more organic sound. I'm exaggerating the differences, as they are subtle, but a good ear can tell them apart.

The K712 is the perfect middle ground between the standard 7xx airy sound, and the Annie's warmer, more fluid presentation.

NOTE: I'm basing my assessment of the Annie with it's ORIGINAL memory foam pads, which AKG has since replaced with a taller memory foam. The new pads on the Annie may have closed the gap even more between the two headphones to the point where it may be harder to discern the differences in sound quality. I haven't heard the Annie with new pads, so I can't personally confirm. Just something to keep in mind, in case those with a newer Annie don't agree with what I say here.



Bass:

Rating: Excellent

The K712 pro's bass is quite well balanced and always present, favoring midbass over sub bass (which rolls off a little compared to the K612 Pro which maintains it's bass to very low levels, though isn't energetic and forward as the K712 Pro). The bass is full, fluid, and rich, creating some warmth and body to the meat of the K712's sound. Because the bass is very, very similar to the K702 Annie's bass, I will quote most of what I said about those, with a few edits:

Sound-wise, this is the most significant change coming off the older models. The K712 Pro presents bass quite well. You can consider it mildly above neutral. Natural if the source doesn't have a need for bass, and quite full and involving when the need for bass is there. Overall, the bass can be quite full, layered, textured, and infectious.

What it improves over the standard models is that the bass is no longer situational. It doesn't just hit with really bass heavy songs. It hits at all times, in a very natural way. Put on a bassy track, movie, game, etc, and the K712 Pro will impress. Make no mistake. I've always found the Q701, and particularly, the old K701 to be slightly below neutral. The bass would decay too quickly, and wouldn't hit with enough energy to give a sense of naturality. No longer an issue with the K712 Pro. Unless you're a basshead, I don't think there will be much to complain about here. If you like accurate, yet full bass, the K712 pro will impress.



Mids:

Rating: Great

The K712 Pro's mids sit between the 7xx's mids and the Annie's more upfront and intimate presentation. The K712's mids sound pushed back in comparison to the Annie, though not pushed back in the way of recession, but more because the soundstage is large and nothing is exactly upfront and in your face. The lower mids are aided by the lean towards bass that the K712 has, which results in a warm, and tonally realistic voicing compared to the standard 7xx and even the incredibly balanced K612 Pro, which comes of a little dry in direct comparison.

The one downside I see in the mids is that the patented AKG upper mids peak is still somewhat present, causing certain sounds to have an artificial etch to them, and seem out of place next to the K712 Pro's general warmth and smoothness. It isn't as pronounced as the standard 7xx models however, and the warm tonality and fleshed out signature of the K712 mitigate the fatigue a bit compared to the standard 7xx.

All in all, the K712's mids are more or less balanced with the rest of the sound, and are never lost or masked.



Treble:

Rating: Great

The K712's treble maintains a level of sparkle some found lacking on the Annie. The treble is generally smooth with some upper end peak as usual of the 7xx line, cutting off some extension as well as the fatigue that can be associated with too much treble in those ranges. The K712's treble adds some much beneficial air to the soundstage, as well as clarity and detail which isn't typical of warm/smooth headphones (which tend to roll off in the treble range).

I personally have to say that I really love the K712's treble as it isn't an everyday occurrence to find warm headphones that sparkle in the same way as the K712. I also love the original Annie's smoother, less fatiguing presentation, but it did come across more subdued. I'd say the K712's treble is generally more favorable, and more likely to please most people.



Soundstage:

Rating: Excellent

While the original Annie had a large soundstage, the thicker body of sound and smoother treble made the soundstage sound more restricted and congested compared to the standard 7xx and K712. The K712's soundstage is spacious, and excels particularly in width. The soundstage is dimensional, holographic, and layered. The K612 Pro didn't have the same dimensionality and layering in direct comparison, despite it's large size.



Positioning:

Rating: Excellent

A large soundstage, generally linear balance, and great detail is a recipe for success. The K712 excels in positional cues, much like the standard 7xx line, but with more body, and fullness. One can argue that it won't be as masterful for competitive gaming focus due to the standard 7xx model's tilt towards analyzing and detail-retrieval, but the K712 doesn't give up much in the way of those things, and adds in extra immersion. If I had to choose one or the other, I would still choose the K712 Pro for the sum of all it's benefits which far outweigh the few benefits the standard 7xx has over the K712.



Clarity:

Rating: Excellent

Objectively speaking, the standard 7xx models as well as the K612 Pro have a clearer tonality over the warmer, more musical K712 Pro. That being said, the refinement, musicality, and tonality of the K712 Pro is more natural sounding and realistic in comparison. The standard 7xx sounds artificially boosted for clarity, which may be good for raw detail, but bad for enjoyment. The K712 has excellent clarity, and I don't feel like I'm losing much of anything when choosing the K712 over the standard 7xx models.



Amping:

Necessary

The K712 Pro doesn't require much to sound fantastic, but as with all 7xx models, they scale up with better gear and amping. I would recommend a decent desktop amp for these. That being said, I enjoyed the K712 Pro with the Fiio E12, and didn't feel I needed much more. I can easily live quite happily with the K712 Pro and FiiO E12.



Personal Recommendation?

Movies, Music, In General? Yes
Gaming? Yes

The K712 Pro, is among my very favorite headphones I have ever heard, and currently my favorite open dynamic for all around use, even over the Philips Fidelio X1. If you're looking for the best all-rounder under $400, the K712 is my ABSOLUTE top recommendation. While I prefer the original Annie (flatter pads) for certain things (the mids and intimacy for music), the K712 has a better sound signature due to a clearer upper range and better sense of space which will benefit a larger amount of media, including gaming.

The only thing holding me back from giving the K712 Pro a full recommendation is that you can get a standard 7xx, and if you order some K712 pads for it, it essentially becomes a cheaper Annie/K712 Pro alternative for around $100 less than the Annie and K712 normally go for. It may not be completely identical, but it will be close. You also get the benefit of having both the standard and K712 pads for easy swapping and tonality change. Your mileage may vary as driver variation needs to be taken into account. If doing this, I recommend the K702 over the K701 and Q701, due to the newer K702 having a bumpless headband.



Comparisons:

I have made quite a few comparisons throughout the review, but I'll add a brief comparison for some headphones:

K612 Pro: The K712 Pro is warmer, more holographic, dimensional, layered, and wider in soundstage. It outshines the K612 Pro in handling more complex music, and comes off as the more musical and dynamic of the two. The K712 Pro has a stronger, faster punch in bass, but rolls off earlier, while the K612 Pro reaches quite low, despite having less impact. The K712 Pro sounds more refined and controlled, with less grain up top, and overall on a higher level in most aspects. The K712 is noticeably more comfortable due to a thinner, softer headband, and memory foam pads. It is also less amp dependent. I recommend the K712 Pro, for it's broader appeal, refinement, and versatility.

Standard 7xx: The standard K701/K702/Q701 are all more dry, less natural, brighter, more analytical, and more airy. You trade off the K712 Pro's musicality and organic tone for more clarity and detail retrieval. I'd choose the K712 Pro over the standard 7xx models 9 out of 10 times. However, as mentioned earlier, having a standard 7xx and adding some 712 pads will give you a similar sound to the K712 with the ability to swap back to the default 7xx sound, all for around $100 less. I would personally still go with the K712 Pro, due to the thinner headband. The K702 seems to have a thick headband like the K612 Pro's, which is noticeably less comfortable for me compared to the Annie and K712 headband.

K702 65th Anniversary: The original Annie had flatter/shorter pads which made the sound a bit more intimate than the K712 Pro. The newer Annie seems to have the same exact pads as the K712 Pro, and I've heard they sound more or less identical by quite a few people. Logical assumption would be that this is mostly true, as the original Annie was already very, very close to the K712 Pro's sound, and if the new pads are now the same as the K712, it should further make them more similar rather than different. This does not mean they are exactly identical, but it should definitely be close.

Philips Fidelio X1: The X1 has a decidedly stronger mid bass, with a generally linear response afterwards. Both sport large soundstages, with the K712 Pro being less congested. The K712 Pro is noticeably less bloated in the bass (which on the X1 can sound a bit sluggish and boomy in comparison). The X1 is what I would consider a cheaper alternative to the K712 Pro, if you prefer a stronger bass emphasis out of your headphones. Both are great all-rounders, and I wouldn't lose any sleep recommending either of them.



Final Impressions:

The K712 Pro has proven to be the best mid level AKG headphone in terms of musicality, refinement, and organic tonality. Yes, it doesn't stray far from that well known 7xx sound, but it eliminates most of what people disliked about them, while adding nearly all the things that were lacking (bass, warmth, organic sound). If you happen to like the standard 7xx and wished for more warmth, bass, and musicality, with less upper mid/lower treble fatigue, the K712 Pro demands your attention. I admit I was skeptical at first, seeing how much I love the original Annie and heard that the K712 reduced the intimacy. My fears were quelled, as the K712 gained it's own benefits over the smoother, original Annie, mainly in the addition of air/less congestion and upper range clarity.

I'm actually quite in love with the K712 Pro overall, and I find it to be a great endgame headphone for those without deep pockets. It's a safe bet to say that the K712 Pro is a headphone that I can recommend to practically anyone and everyone.


Fun: 8.25/10 (Great) (Click to show)
The most immersive AKG headphone I've heard to date. Excellent bass response, natural sound, and spacious soundstage makes for a very fun headphone.
Competitive: 8.75/10 (Excellent) (Click to show)
While the standard 7xx models may be more detail oriented for easier soundwhoring, the K712 Pro is no slouch with great clarity without the expense of immersion and fun factor in general.
Comfort: 9/10 (Amazing) (Click to show)
Sharing the same exact comfort I loved in the K702 65th Anniversary, the K712 Pro is among the most comfortable headphones I've ever worn. Auto adjusting headband, soft memory foam pads, and light frame. Not much more you can ask for.
Overall: 9/10 (Amazing) (Click to show)
The K712 Pro is amazing, plain and simple. If you want a great all rounder that does practically everything well, the K712 Pro is an incredibly easy recommendation.







Edited by Mad Lust Envy - 4/17/14 at 2:25am
post #22968 of 26687
Thread Starter 
Quote:







AKG K612 Pro

CREATOR: gd-jpeg v1.0 (using IJG JPEG v62), quality = 80
Street Price: $175-range

Where To Buy: Amazon.com

Review (Click to show)

Before I get started, I'd like to thank guide contributor and friend, @Change is Good for sending the K612 Pro for review. Had it not been for him, very little chance these would've ever had a review on the guide.

The K612 Pro. A direct successor to the K601, though I haven't confirmed whether it's a simple headphone refresh, or if they actually updated the drivers. I haven't had any experience with the standard K601, so I personally can't prove this to be true or not. Knowing AKG and their reluctance to give up their headphones for improved models, I'll assume the K612 Pro sounds near identical to the K601. Based on all I have read of the K601 and what I have experienced with the K612 Pro... it wouldn't surprise me if the only difference was entirely cosmetic. I've been told that the K612 and K601 sound near identical, with the K612 having just a hint more bass. If so, it is definitely worthwhile getting the K612 over the K601, as the K612's bass is a standout.



Build Quality:

Rating: Great

As with the other AKG models I have owned or tested, the K612 Pro shares the same exact design and frame as the K601, K701, K702, Q701, K702 65th Anniversary, and K712 Pro. The only key differences being the leather headband shape, and the cable being non-removable.

Made of a durable plastic, I find the build quality to be quite good. I wouldn't toss them around haphazardly, but they'd definitely survive some abuse.

Compared to the 7xx models, the headband is larger/wider. The biggest difference (and it's incredibly significant), is that the underside of the headband no longer has the notorious (7-8) bumps, and is instead completely smooth. This basically turns the K612 Pro from a torture device to a relatively comfortable headphone, with some nitpicks. There is no padding, which is a shame, as it could soften up the hard leather used. The headband distributes pressure evenly across where it rests, though it does pull down towards the scalp quite a bit.

The velour pads feel mostly reminiscent of the K701, K702, and Q701 pads, with the key difference being that they aren't angled. They are large and relatively deep, and should fit most if not all types of ears. The pads are a bit firm, and lack the comfort of the K702 Anniversary or K712 Pro's memory foam velour pads. The upside to this, is that it allows the ears to breathe a little more.

The cable is not detachable (unlike the 7xx line). It terminates into a 3.5mm plug with a screw on 6.3mm adapter.



Accessories:

Unfortunately, the K612 is devoid of any accessories, other than a 6.3mm adapter connected to the cable.



Comfort:

Rating: Very Good to Great

The bad news:

- Hard leather headband with constant pressure downwards to the top of the head due to the tension of the suspension wires.
- Clampy. The pads are huge and a bit firm, and due to the clamp adds a bit of pressure on the upper jaw.

The good news:

+ The headband has no bumps unlike the K701, older K702, and Q701.
+ The K612 Pro is relatively light for it's large size, so pain to the neck is minimal compared to other, heavier headphones.
+ Auto-adjusting headband eases the pain of readjusting for a proper fit.

I find the K612 Pro to be relatively comfortable, despite having some downforce on the headband, and some moderate clamp. The biggest source of discomfort on the K612 is definitely the headband, though I'm sure that after a period of use, most will become get used to the feeling. Those with smaller heads will most likely find it even more comfortable.



Design Issues:

Can't say I personally find much to complain about the tried and tested AKG K6xx and K7xx design. My only main gripes with the K612 Pro is that the cable isn't detachable unlike the K7x2 variants and Q701. Also, the comfort could be better with some headband padding, softer ear pads, and less clamp.



Isolation/Leakage:

Rating: Poor

The K612 is a fully open headphone, and as such, it is expected not to perform well for noise isolation/leakage. As I mention time and time again, reports of open headphone's leak tend to be severely exaggerated. Yes, you may bother someone in the same room, but never someone in another room, even with the door open. Unless you need absolute silence in the same room, open headphones don't leak so loud as to bother most people, even if they were in the same room.



Sound:

Rating: Great

While I have never heard the original K601, the K612 Pro sounds a lot like what I have read of the K601: The K612 Pro is easily one of the most linear and balanced headphones I've heard to date, even in comparison to the K701, K702, and Q701. It's a wonder how AKG manages to sell these for less, though I gather it's due to less refinement, especially at louder volumes (which tends to distort the drivers), and is handled with less finesse compared to how it behaves at moderate volume levels.

The K612 Pro isn't as musical as the K712 Pro and K702 65th Anniversary, but what you get is a faithful reproduction of music with fewer peaks that seem out of place. The body of sound is neither thick nor thin. It sits squarely between the two extremes.


Bass:

Rating: Very Good

The K612 Pro has a surprising amount of low end extension and fullness without artificial bumps. It reaches quite low (lower than even the bass boosted K712 Pro), which is quite rare of open dynamic headphones. In addition to the full and extended bass, the K612's mid bass isn't boosted, maintaining the K612's neutral balance.

The K612's bass isn't ever dominant, nor thin. It is present, natural, and safe. If you like a bass emphasized sound, look elsewhere, but if you like a generally well balanced and stable bass output, the K612 Pro does not disappoint.

The decay of the K612's bass is moderate in speed and nicely textured, though not as articulate as the 7xx series bass. The K612's bass isn't emphasized by any means, but it is present and accounted for at all times. Next to the K612 Pro, the K712 Pro has an added warmth and body to the mid bass, is snappier, but rolls off earlier. This gives sub bass better representation with the K612 Pro.

Due to it's great linearity, the K612 Pro makes a better rounded headphone compared to many other open headphones that roll off early with a strong mid bass hump. If you don't have a particular need for bass emphasis, but prefer accurate bass instead, the K612 Pro makes a fantastic choice especially for an open headphone.



Mids:

Rating: Great

The K612's linearity and balance leads to a natural midrange, barring a few hiccups in the upper midrange which can get a little tizzy and harsh. Vocals are expertly integrated with the bass and treble, never lagging behind or come off shouty and overly strident (other than the occasional sizzle in the upper registers). I personally find the K612 Pro to excel with non-aggressive music. Aggressive, energetic music can come off a bit unrefined at times, but the well composed, slower, more melodic music can really shine on the K612 Pro.



Treble:

Rating: Very Good

The K612 Pro's treble is generally balanced with the rest of the sound spectrum. The strength of a neutral balance proves itself worthy here. The K612 Pro is generally smooth in the extreme upper range, though it can at times sound sibilant and harsh. The treble does not lack detail, and contains just the right amount of shimmer and sparkle for most occasions. The treble flirts with between smoothness and brightness, and I wouldn't doubt it's characteristics changing depending on the tonality of the amp used. The treble can be on the grainy side, and can exacerbate the harshness found in some recordings. This is about the only real nitpick I have with the K612's signature, as everything else is top notch for the price.



Soundstage:

Rating: Great

The soundstage is generally large and spacious. It doesn't stand out amongst soundstage monsters, but like most things associated with the K612 Pro, the soundstage can be summed up with one word: natural. It lacks the dimensionality and layering of the K712 Pro's soundstage, but among the many open headphones I've tested, the soundstage comes out as one of the best when factoring all the benefits.



Positioning:

Rating: Excellent

Large, natural soundstage paired up with a clear, linear sound signature and neither thin nor thick body of sound will equate to an excellent sense of directionality. Positional cues are detailed and accurate, making the K612 Pro one of the strongest headphones for competitive use. Aural wallhacking is entirely possible with the K612 Pro.



Clarity:

Rating: Great

Linear headphones with no particular emphasis in the lower range will almost always tend to sound clear and detailed, the K612 Pro being no exception. All manner of frequencies play harmoniously with other ranges, so you won't find any masking of details anywhere in the sound.

The K612 Pro's linearity works against it when listening to badly mastered recordings. If a track is harsh, the K612 will play it harsh. If you have a lot of flawed tracks, I'd advise you use some other headphones. The K612 Pro demands quality. Garbage in, garbage out.



Amping:

Essential

The K612 Pro is a higher impedance than it's 7xx siblings, and therefore demands more power to hit a moderate volume in comparison. For gaming, you can forget about using the K612 Pro off the Mixamp alone if you attempt to use a mic. Even with the Mixamp putting all it's power on game audio, the K612 pro hits moderate, not high volume levels.

I recommend an amp with a warm signature to offset the slight tizzyness in the upper ranges, though it isn't crucial as the K612 Pro isn't exactly fatiguing.

The K612 Pro's neutral signature is bound to change in tonality depending on the amp used, so matching the K612 to a proper amp is essential. Again, I recommend a warmer sounding amp to better match the K612's neutrality and shave off the slight harshness up top.



Personal Recommendation?

Movies, Music, In General? Yes
Gaming? Yes

As long as it's understood that it's not a bass driven headphone, everything will fall into place. That being said, the bass is neutral and natural, never light. The K612 Pro is an all rounder through and through, which will work for most media, whether it's fun gaming, competitive gaming, music, and movies. Just be warned that it isn't as proficient with fast or aggressive music. Everything else is quite excellent, and even fast/aggressive music is still respectable off the K612 Pro.

There is one thing stopping me from fully recommending the K612 Pro: The Q701 and K702 are just a few dollars more and improve on the clarity and soundstage, though at the expense of musicality. However, if you order some K712 pads, the Q701/K702 become cheap Annies/K712 Pro alternatives for around $100 less than the Annie and K712 normally go for.

I do find the Annie and K712 to be noticeably superior to the K612, so if you can spare around $100 more than the K612's cost, I recommend going with the K702 + K712 pad option over the K612. This will get you both a detail oriented headphone, and a warm, musical one (once you swap in the K712 pads). If doing this, I recommend the K702 over the K701 and Q701, due to the newer K702 having a bumpless headband.

All that being said, if you must absolutely stay in the K612 Pro price range, it is absolutely worth it's price, and I highly doubt it would disappoint most people.



Comparisons:

AKG K712 Pro: The K712 Pro is warmer, more holographic, dimensional, layered, and wider in soundstage. It outshines the K612 pro in handling more complex music, and comes off as the more musical and dynamic of the two. The K712 Pro has a stronger, faster punch in bass, but rolls off earlier. The K712 Pro sounds more refined and controlled, with less grain up top, and overall on a higher level in most aspects. The K712 is noticeably more comfortable due to a thinner, softer headband, and memory foam pads. It is also less amp dependent. If you were absolutely looking at buying one of these two headphones, I wholeheartedly recommend the K712 Pro, for it's broader appeal and greater refinement.

Sennheiser HD558/598: Though I don't have them on hand to directly compare, the K612 Pro would most likely be compared to the Sennheiser HD558 and 598, both which I consider inferior to the K612 Pro. All three are generally well balanced and linear. The HD558 has a non-fatiguing and smooth tone that may come across a bit sleepy and less engaging. The 598 is richer in the mids, but a bit lighter in the bass. I find the K612 Pro to best both in dynamics and musicality. In this price range, I wholeheartedly recommend choosing the K612 Pro over the Sennheisers, though be warned that the K612 Pro demands amping, much more than the 558/598.

Sony MA900: The MA900 may have been the best comparison, however, the MA900 has been discontinued and prices have skyrocketed, making it less than ideal to compare. The MA900 would be found to be warmer, strong in mid bass, and rolled off in the treble compared to the K612 Pro. You could consider the MA900 to be a more fun oriented, less fatiguing alternative to the K612 Pro.



Final Impressions:

The K612 Pro hits well above it's price range, with one of the most balanced, natural sound signatures I've personally heard. The large, spacious soundstage, clarity, and gaming prowess make the K612 Pro a likely candidate for one of the best all rounder recommendations under $200. The hype is justified. The K612 Pro is the real deal.


Fun: 7.5/10 (Very Good) (Click to show)
The K612 Pro isn't the most immersive headphone due to a fairly flat bass response that reaches deep down but isn't emphasized. That being said, the large soundstage lends itself well, and despite it's linear bass, it does have some chops and can hit with authority if demanded. Unless you need extra bass for immersion, I highly doubt you'll find much to complain about in terms of fun factor.
Competitive: 9/10 (Amazing) (Click to show)
The large, yet natural soundstage, clear, linear sound signature, and accurate positional cues make the K612 Pro a fine choice for competitive gaming and soundwhoring.
Comfort: 7.75/10 (Very Good) (Click to show)
After you acclimate yourself to the downforce on the headband and moderate clamp, the K612 Pro can be worn for hours. Smaller heads may find the comfort to be great, even excellent.
Overall: 8/10 (Great) (Click to show)
There really isn't much competition against the K612 Pro in it's price range. If you want a balanced, yet engaging headphone, the K612 Pro is an ideal choice.







Edited by Mad Lust Envy - 4/17/14 at 2:26am
post #22969 of 26687

Well written. :popcorn:

post #22970 of 26687
Thread Starter 
Thanks Feg. smily_headphones1.gif

I've racked my brain trying to come up with the scoring, but i feel I've scored them properly. Now, I have to go back and re-score many other headphones, since I feel I've been a bit generous (and sometimes harsh) with the scores. Not that it makes the headphones worse, but that my scoring didn't line up.

This is why I say not to pay too much attention to scores, but to actually read the reviews to get a much better idea as to how I see a particular headphone.
Edited by Mad Lust Envy - 4/17/14 at 2:51am
post #22971 of 26687

Anyone know of a good male 3.5mm to female 1/4 cable adapter? (for hooking up a headphone with 1/4 plug to the Astro Mixamp which has a 3.5mm connector).

 

It should be cheap but good quality... not looking to spend hundreds of dollars on a little piece of cable lol. I want to go with a very short cable version over the hard adapters to reduce strain on the 3.5mm port.

post #22972 of 26687
Thread Starter 
Get a Grado one or a Sennheiser one. I believe both are sold on Amazon. I have the Grado one. It's excellent.
post #22973 of 26687

Great review of the K712 Pro and the K612 Pro. I have always used IEM's  and close headphones and the K712 will be my first open ones. I'm even more excited now that I've read your review and cannot wait till they arrive!

post #22974 of 26687

Another vote here for the Grado 1/4" to 3.5mm adapter. I've owned both the Sennheiser and Grado adapters and I find that the Grado is just as good as the Senn for the price. I paid $10 less on Amazon over the Senn model.

post #22975 of 26687

Hey MLE, if I could make a suggestion?  I'd love to see the top 10 lists updated with the new headphones you've reviewed (as well as possibly noting which are discontinued and which price ranges the headphones fall into).  I used those lists a lot when making my decision and there was a lot of cruft to sort through.

 

I'm definitely curious to see an updated list with the K712 and K612 to see where you rate them relatively speaking.

post #22976 of 26687
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mad Lust Envy View Post

Get a Grado one or a Sennheiser one. I believe both are sold on Amazon. I have the Grado one. It's excellent.

 

Agree. I use it for the TH-900 and the Mixamp and it works flawless. 

post #22977 of 26687
Stillhart,
I'd wager that the K612 fills the void left by the MA900's price escalation, and the K712 is basically right with the limited-edition Annies as a top-choice for an all-arounder, especially since Zombie_X is pretty much ready to sell AKG adapters to allow the use of the BoomPro cable.

The only thing about the K712... It's at least like $130 more than the Q701, new. The sound is more refined and also easier on the ears, but by itself the change is too slight to justify the price difference from a Q701. For me, it's a keeper though due to the headband, comfort, I like the coiled cable to keep tidy at shorter distances, less fatigue when plugged straight into underpowered devices (iPhone, Mixamp) – it adds up, maybe a bit less than the price still BUT it saves me from having to mod and get amp-picky. It's the best AKG in my opinion, but won't change the world for Q701 owners.

How's that M-Stage treating ya?
Edited by Evshrug - 4/17/14 at 12:40pm
post #22978 of 26687
Quote:
Originally Posted by Evshrug View Post

I'd wager that the K612 fills the void left by the MA900's price escalation, and the K712 is basically right with the limited-edition Annies as a top-choice for an all-arounder, especially since Zombie_X is pretty much ready to sell AKG adapters to allow the use of the BoomPro cable.

The only thing about the K712... It's at least like $130 more than the Q701, new. The sound is more refined and also easier on the ears, but by itself the change is too slight to justify the price difference from a Q701. For me, it's a keeper though due to the headband, comfort, I like the coiled cable to keep tidy at shorter distances, less fatigue when plugged straight into underpowered devices (iPhone, Mixamp) – it adds up, maybe a bit less than the price still BUT it saves me from having to mod and get amp-picky. It's the best AKG in my opinion, but won't change the world for Q701 owners.

How's that M-Stage treating ya?

Who's that aimed at?

Does MLE have one?

post #22979 of 26687
Quote:
Originally Posted by conquerator2 View Post

Who's that aimed at?
Does MLE have one?

I believe he was replying to stillhart's comment, whom just bought my M-Stage a short while ago.
post #22980 of 26687

Makes sense :D Thought I was one of the last guys -_-

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